Teams bringing new parts to catch Brawn (Spanish Grand Prix preview)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Robert Kubica will be hoping his revised BMW F1.09 performs better
Robert Kubica will be hoping his revised BMW F1.09 performs better

Many F1 teams are expecting a boost in performance at the Spanish Grand Prix as the return to Europe gives them a chance to bring a host of news parts.

Several of them are likely to introduce their versions of the ‘double decker diffusers’ that were confirmed legal last month.

But with Brawn bringing updated parts too, can anyone narrow the gap to the flying BGP001s?

How far ahead are Brawn?

John Spencer has put together these charts looking at how the teams stack up alongside Brawn over the first four races:

Brawn versus other teams in qualifying
Brawn versus other teams in qualifying
Brawn versus other teams in races
Brawn versus other teams in races

Interestingly the circuit where Brawn’s advantage has been greatest so far is Sepang. Its long straights and high aerodynamic loads make it more similar to the Catalunya circuit than the other three, suggesting Brawn should be especially strong here. But will that be the case?

New parts

Here’s what the teams have said about new components they’ll be bringing to Spain:

BMW – Claims it will have a “new nose section, more deeply undercut sidepods and rear wing” along with revisions to its front wing, engine cover and underbody. The latter will presumably include a revised diffuser.

It looks likely to be one of the most revised cars on the grid – and boy do they need it to be.

Ferrari – Lots of changes to the F60, some have even unofficially dubbed it the ‘F60B’. Goofy has posted some videos of it in the forum although as it’s shot from a distance it’s tricky to see what changes have been made:

Toyota – Dieter Gass has said the team are planning a minor aerodynamic upgrade for Catalunya.

McLaren – Having rushed in changes to its diffuser at China following the diffuser verdict, McLaren has played down its ability to get many new parts on the car this weekend.

Brawn – The team they’re all trying to catch isn’t standing still. Ross Brawn had this to say:

Whilst we have been away racing over the past few weeks, the factory has been working extremely hard on our upgrade package for the BGP 001 and we look forward to seeing the results of our development work on track in Barcelona this weekend.

Will any of the teams be able to catch Brawn at Spain?